Christ has always been there. I was born in, and grew up, in a Christian family, but contrary to popular belief, that didn’t make my acceptance of the Gospel any easier. I took my Christianity for granted in the early years of my life.
I grew callous with the messages repetitively preached at church every Sunday. I grew resistant and evasive of my Christianity with how my parents cram it down my throat without having any choice. Instead of busying myself with my spirituality, I always sought for attention and acceptance from others. I sought for meaning, peace, and joy in any worldly achievement I received, but even in those few instances when I do succeed, I always found the prestige short-lived and shallow after just a small period of time. Contentment and satisfaction seem to always elude me when I thought I already found it. At my early teen years, my parents started to drift apart and, although still under the same roof, the family never felt whole again. I got to hold myself together pretty well, but one can only
do so much but feel sorrow for the happy days that will never happen again. In short, I got upset and deeply disappointed with my parents. While these changes in my family were happening, I was exposed and invited to a Saturday Christian youth fellowship in Festival Mall. I attended and received Christ in this period,
and for the first time, on my own volition. But just as I was starting to warm up a little bit to my spirituality I got molested by a homosexual. That day, I stopped believing I was set apart for some higher purpose. I felt used, useless, and downright filthy. I did not see any goodness around me; I did not see God’s good, acceptable, and perfect plan for me in this world. Lost and growing cynical, I started looking for happiness trying things I’ve never done. Partying, drinking, thoughts of suicide, engaging in flings with women, and fornication. I have
basically gone off the deep end. In the midst of all these, I ended up pursuing a Christian that invited me to
CCF’s Saturday youth service called Jzone (now called Elevate). I attended with wrong motives in my heart. I was in for a surpise though because this callous heart of mine listened to the message that day and it had me undone. This was the beginning of my serious walk with God driven by spiritual hunger. I started attending the youth service, not for the woman I was pursuing, but solely for God. It came to a point where she ceased attending, but I still kept attending. Just when I thought I was inseparable from Him, things didn’t turn too well too quickly.
I committed apostasy and turned my back on God (what some call backsliding, but let’s not euphemize this act. When you backslide, you don’t suddenly become ignorant of His Word, but you’re a lot familiar with it, but you still chose to go against Him). I got busy in college and having no time for God, and engaging in a sexual relationship with a non-believer. This is what happens when one ceases to surround himself with like-minded people. As it said is
written in Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” I had to come back to CCF after my boards because God gave me this unquenchable thirst for Him the whole time I was away. He was so gracious to take me back, again. He also give me the strength to walk out of the sinful
relationship I was in, so that I could walk with Him closely and a lot more intimately compared to before. I am now very privileged to be a servant and slave of God thanks to Christ to shed His blood in place of me. I have learned in
my life walk with Him not to expect and aim for monumental works of grandeur, but to walk with complete dependence with Him and ask for His guidance in everything I do from day to day of my life. Walking everyday with God will not always make one’s life easier or better, but it will always make one’s life worth living. The world will keep devising ways of how to find happiness without purpose, without Christ. But in Christ, I have learned that eternal joy is where eternal life is. If my life could be summed up in a bible verse, it would be Romans 12:2. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that by testing, you may discern what is the will of God, what is good, acceptable, and perfect.”Christ has always been there. I am Gino Santos, once lost, now found. Once of the world, now of the Lord. Once self-driven, now Christ -driven. Once Gino, now Christ.